Ask Elle: Should I stay or should I go?

How to make an often-overlooked college decision: to stick it out or end it with a high school sweetheart

Elle Smith, Advice Columnist

Dear Elle: My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years. We are seniors and have been talking a lot about college. I’ve decided to go to MCC, but my boyfriend is looking at a private school in Wisconsin. We even visited the college last week.

I’m worried, though, because I don’t know if our relationship will last over the long distance. I know I could visit him from time to time, but I’m not even sure I want to be in a long-distance relationship.

I’m very happy being his girlfriend, and I know he is happy being my boyfriend, so it will hurt a lot to say goodbye to him next fall. Part of me wants to break up with him as soon as he commits to the school just so it hurts less, but part of me wants to stick it out until the moment we have to say goodbye. Still, another part of me wants to see if we could make it work long-distance, but I’m not sure what to do.

Should we end this now, later, or at all?

Soon-To-Be Left Behind


Dear Soon: In terms of your uncertainty for a long distance relationship, you are right to be a little worried. According to an article in the New York Post, only 58 percent of long distance relationships last. However, many people who have been successful with these say, in the end, it brought them and their partner closer. This is because it forces couples to connect and talk more—albeit electronically.

But, it sounds like you are leaning away from a long-term relationship. Have you tried voicing your concerns to your boyfriend? It is absolutely important for you to get his thoughts on this. It would help you to get some perspective, and could help you to not feel so alone through all this. 

Keep your future in mind as you make your decision. You mentioned that you are going to MCC—is it realistic or smart for you to have to travel all the way to Wisconsin to see him? And would it make you happy? If driving to see him made it worthwhile, and it brings you closer in the long run, it could possibly work. If not, college is bound to open tons of doors for you.

Need advice on school, work, love, life, or anything else that’s weighing you down? Email Elle at [email protected], and she may respond to your letter in the online or print edition of The McHenry Messenger.